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In July 2015 I purchased a motorcycle and started riding again for the first time in many years.

In those previous years of riding – owning five different motorcycles and putting over 40,000 combined miles on them – I wore NO PROTECTIVE GEAR other than ALWAYS wearing a helmet. A helmet saved my life when I totaled my first motorcycle after putting over 10k miles on it. But even after that crash, I continued to ride wearing a helmet, but no other protective gear – meaning that I usually wore just a shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes while riding.

Looking back, I think that was not the wisest thing to do, but it was a different world. There was no such thing as ATGATT, kids (or adults for that matter) didn’t wear helmets to ride bicycles, child car seats were a relatively new trend and even seat belts weren’t consistently used by many people. Seat belt laws in most states were not yet in place.

So when I returned to riding, I did so knowing that I would ALWAYS wear a helmet, but with a relatively minimal approach to other safety gear. Sure, I realized it was probably a good idea to always wear gloves, long pants, long sleeves and reasonably sturdy shoes or boots – but beyond that – I still took a minimalist approach.

However, my thoughts on gear have continued to evolve. I am not ATGATT, but now my ALWAYS gear has extended to include: helmet, gloves, and hi-viz upper body apparel. I almost always wear a lightly armored mesh jacket or a leather jacket, and sturdy boots. I still usually wear jeans, but I do have a couple of pair of armored riding pants that I wear occasionally and a pair of leather chaps on order as I write this.

I will be adding reviews of the gear that I have purchased and used since July, starting with my next post, in the hopes that it might be useful to someone else who is just starting to ride, or like myself, returning to riding after an extended absence.

Since my thoughts on gear are constantly evolving, this will be as much a chance to discuss gear as it is a series of reviews. I look forward to getting input and opinions from you!

My next post will be about gloves...
 

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I returned to riding about 7 years ago. Where I have ended up is that I won't move the bike in the driveway without my helmet and I will not ride on the road at all without my armored jacket. My bike has foot protection built in so I am a bit lax about wearing boots and I never did get into gloves except for warmth.
 

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I understand those that promote ATGATT, they probably are right, but in my area when it reaches 95-100 degrees even a ventilated jacket is too much. I always wear a full face helmet, mesh back leather gloves and leather hiking boots that cover the ankles with t-shirt and jeans. Riding by itself is a risk, you just have to weigh that risk for yourself and how much are you willing to take.
 

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Gear.

On Bluzu the Suzuki, I like third gear. On DP the XS400 fifth gear is popular.
Back in the old days, before 1970 for the British, we only had four to choose from.


Unkle Krusty*
 
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